British tennis chief David Felgate has welcomed the official start of construction at the £39million National Tennis Centre in Roehampton.
David Felgate and Charles Trippe get work underway
The centre will have 16 outdoor courts, six indoor courts, a gymnasium and sports science and medical facilities, and will be ready by the end of 2006.
"The National Tennis Centre will make a huge difference," said Felgate.
"The LTA cannot make top-100 players but we can ensure they have the best opportunity to realise their talent."
Felgate, performance director at the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), and Charles Trippe, president of the LTA, undertook the first dig on the site at the Bank of England Sports Ground on Monday.
The centre will also house the headquarters of the LTA, which will move from its present home at Queen's Club in west London.
"The centre will ensure we are able to offer the players the very best in facilities, sports services and medical support, in the best environment," said Felgate.
John Crowther, chief executive of the LTA, added: "The National Tennis Centre is the flagship of our performance plan.
"It will bring together the very best coaches and support for Britain's top players and our most promising youngsters."